ICL: Indian Cricket League

Smith and Steyn out of tour opener


The captain Graeme Smith will not be in charge of South Africa’s first match of the Australia tour due to an elbow injury. Dale Steyn and Paul Harris, the first-choice bowlers, will also not be risked in Thursday’s one-day match against Western Australia.

“Graeme are Dale are just very, very precautionary,” the coach Mickey Arthur told AAP on Wednesday. “We see them as major, major, major players for us. So we are not going to risk them in any unnecessary situations.”

Smith had a cortisone injection last week while Steyn has been building up his pace after suffering a hamstring problem in the series against Bangladesh. They are both due to appear in the two-day match against a Western Australia side starting on Friday as part of their preparations for the first Test on December 17.

“[Dale] bowled at 50% [on Tuesday] and he’s going to up that to about 80% [on Wednesday],” Arthur said. “He’ll definitely be playing Friday-Saturday.”

Harris, the left-arm spinner, had the cast taken off his broken thumb this week and is also expected to turn out on Friday. “Harro still has to come through but we don’t foresee any problems with him,” Arthur said. “He has got a week to get himself right really.”

South Africa’s wicketkeeper Mark Boucher has added to the Steyn hype by saying he is faster than Allan Donald was at the end of his career. Steyn is the tourists’ major weapon, but he is trying not to get carried away by the expectations.

“I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing,” Steyn told AAP. “If you do well people tend to notice you a little bit more. It’s all part of the game. It shouldn’t affect me at all. I’m still going to do what I’ve been doing throughout the year so hopefully it continues the way it has.”

Boucher, the world-record holder with 457 dismissals, kept to Donald at the end of his outstanding career and is a fan of Steyn, who can deliver outswingers at 150kph. “Dale is shorter, skiddier and probably a little quicker through the air than Allan was,” Boucher said. “He also swings the ball pretty late. Pace-wise I’d say Dale’s probably a little quicker through the air than Allan was.”

Despite his injury, Steyn felt he was going to be in good shape for the three-game contest. “All the preparations have been done throughout the last two years going up into this Test series so I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing,” Steyn said. “I run in and bowl quick for four overs and then I get a lengthy break and come back and try to do that again.”

Source:Cricket News

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